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DUI ignition interlock law takes effect in Alabama

DUI400

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The state of Alabama now has another tool to help stop drunken driving.

Taking effect this month, a revised law provides for people convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol to install ignition interlock devices that prevent their vehicles from starting if they have a blood-alcohol content of .02 or more. In some cases, the interlock devices are mandatory. In others, drivers can request devices in exchange for reduced terms of driver’s license suspensions.

The Alabama legislature passed an interlock law in 2011 and the program was supposed to start in 2012.  Instead, it was delayed until now.

The law makes mandatory an interlock device for DUI defendants with a previous DUI within the preceding five years. Repeat offenders must pay to have the device installed after they finish a period of a suspended driver’s license.

The device also is mandatory for first-time offenders who meet any of the following conditions:

  • A BAC of .15 or greater.
  • A driver who refuses to take a breath test.
  • A driver with a passenger younger than 14.
  • The driver who caused an injury to anyone other than himself or herself.

The basic term is six months but can be extended for violations, and subsequent offenses carry longer terms.

DUI defendants who are not required to install the device can ask a judge for one in order to delay the driver’s license suspension. In those cases, the Alabama Department of Public Safety issues a special driver’s license designating that the operators must have interlock devices. If a law enforcement officer pulls such a driver over – even for a non-DUI offense – he can issue a citation if the driver does not have an interlock.

 

 

9 comments

    • Red

      Joanne,
      Just because this strategy isn’t 100% effective in stopping the drunk driver, does NOT mean that “it won’t work” in at least a percentage of cases. Your comment that “it won’t work” is the same backwards thinking against background checks for guns. SURE, they can be defeated in lots of cases. But they are effective in many others and every little bit helps. I can imagine that lots of drunks are spontaneous types, and if that is the case, it may be harder than you realize to get someone else to blow into the device for them when they’ve got to get somewhere sloppy drunk right now!

      In contrast, when law enforcement suspends a drivers license, THAT isn’t 100% effective in keeping drunks from driving either… so I guess that also doesn’t work. In fact by your standards, NOTHING works.

  • Jim

    The offender should have to pay for it. Just like anything else it can be circumvented but its a start…

    • Red

      People who comment on article should have to READ them first. If you do read, you will see that the article says that the offender is required to pay to have the device installed.

  • Michael

    I love it when government acts like they have all the answers to our problems. It’s comical. They try so hard, bless them.

    • Red

      What is your final solution then Michael? Firing Squad? I would be willing to bet that you haven’t solved any problem of any kind. You should try harder, bless your little heart.

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